Sacramento, CA – With the Sonoma Developmental Center slated for closure by 2018, nearly 350 of the most medically fragile patients in the state system will transition into the community and require specialized healthcare services. Senator McGuire and Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin have been committed to ensuring that the health and well-being of SDC residents will be the top priority during and after the transition and closure of the facility.
To that end, and while there is a lot of work to do in the year to come, Senator McGuire, Supervisor Gorin and the State Department of Developmental Services announce that a Request For Proposal (RFP) will be advanced at the end of this month to establish a healthcare hub in Sonoma County in a to-be-determined Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that will be dedicated to residents with developmental disabilities.
The hub will serve the residents of the SDC and hundreds of other individuals with developmental disabilities within the Regional Center system.
Working with the Department and its Director, Nancy Bargmann, $2.5 million in community placement plan funding has been secured for the North Bay Regional Center to develop a healthcare hub that will be embedded in a to-be-determined FQHC located in Sonoma County. This hub will offer residents high quality healthcare, dental care, mental health and adaptive services. These services will be specially designed for individuals with developmental disabilities. This investment will create unique exam rooms – with special adaptive equipment – that will cater to individuals with developmental disabilities.
“We know that this closure process has been extremely difficult to so many residents and their families over the past three years. Many have called the SDC home for decades and we have been working overtime to ensure the most medically fragile in the State system receive quality healthcare close to home, now, and into the future,” Senator McGuire said. “This investment is so important. Not only will it keep health care, dental and mental health here in Sonoma County, we are creating a new health care home for hundreds of Californians who need specialized services to thrive.”
The nearly 350 individuals who currently live at the SDC today are some of the most medically fragile or most behaviorally involved consumers in the developmental services system.
That is why Senator McGuire, Supervisor Gorin and the County of Sonoma, the Parent Hospital Association, the Department of Developmental Services and the North Bay Regional Center have been focused on keeping a specialized healthcare home thriving in Sonoma County.
“Ensuring access to essential services for residents of the SDC has been of critical importance to me and the County of Sonoma,” commented Supervisor Gorin. “I have been working for a number of years with a local coalition of stakeholders to develop a vision for the future of the SDC and its residents, and appreciate Senator McGuire’s efforts at a state level to realize the health resource center concept in Sonoma County. The Coalition had hoped to site the health center at the Sonoma Developmental Center. Although we are disappointed that model is not feasible, we are pleased that specialized services will be available to North Bay clients in the near future.”
This investment will create unique exam rooms catered to individuals with developmental disabilities. There will be specialized services delivered by uniquely trained medical professionals, along with specialized services for shoes and durable medical equipment.
This is the first time the Department and Regional Center have partnered with a local community to fund a comprehensive healthcare hub with specialized services for individuals with developmental disabilities.
In addition to the new healthcare hub, working with Assemblymember Dodd, Senator McGuire passed a new law this year that mandates monitoring and evaluating the transition of residents from Developmental Centers to the community to ensure the state follows through with its commitment to provide appropriate services to developmentally disabled Californians.
This new law created a much more robust tracking system, and as Developmental Centers close and any issues are discovered, immediate steps can be taken during this transition if appropriate services and housing are not being provided.
Senator McGuire will attend the Parent Hospital Association’s January meeting to provide more information and updates on the RFP, the $2.5 million and services that will be offered.